Over 50 representatives from Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) in Zimbabwe stepped away from their usual activities on Wednesday, April 5 to take part in the Musoni CEO workshop held in Harare at the Bronte Hotel. In his welcome and opening address, Musoni CEO, Cameron Goldie-Scot reaffirmed Musoni’s commitment to support MFIs in Zimbabwe and improve financial inclusion for the Zimbabwean public.
Being the first of its kind, the event came in a timely manner since April is recognized globally as the ‘Month of Microfinance’. To mark this year’s month of microfinance, Musoni organized the first-ever CEO Workshop in Zimbabwe. Quite apart from that, the Workshop was held to complement the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) and the Zimbabwe Association of Microfinance (ZAMFI) initiative to build a sustainable microfinance sector that helps improve the quality and availability of financial services in Zimbabwe.
Since many organisations in Zimbabwe do not have an MIS or use outdated technology to manage their operations (which is costly in the long-run), both the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and ZAMFI have been encouraging MFIs to harness technology in order to improve their operations. Musoni therefore felt compelled to host this event to complement RBZ and ZAMFI efforts. Moreover, the event provided an opportunity for Musoni to demonstrate the core and advanced features of the Musoni System to the participants and explain how Musoni would support them to reach their full potential.
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The event was officiated by Mrs. Rachel Mushosho, RBZ Deputy Director of Bank Supervision. Mrs. Mushosho shared RBZ’s ongoing initiatives (including the Credit Registry, the Credit Guarantee Scheme for small and medium enterprises and the Collateral Registry) and emphasized on the need for MFIs to adopt a versatile MIS in order to benefit from these initiatives. She further highlighted the challenges and expectations of the microfinance sector in Zimbabwe; stating that even though MFIs are willing to adopt a robust MIS, the pricing structure from MIS providers have often been prohibitive. She therefore welcomed Musoni’s commitment to the microfinance sector in Zimbabwe and encouraged MFIs to embrace the opportunity of a flexible and affordable pricing structure. In attendance from ZAMFI was the Chairman, Mr. Patrick Mangwendeza and Mrs. Beatrice Chitsika who also reiterated the importance of a robust microfinance software and called upon MFIs to adopt the Musoni System.
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Presentations from Musoni kicked-off with a demonstration from Eric Elango – Sales Manager of Musoni, on how to use the SMS and mobile money transaction (Ecocash Integration) modules of the Musoni System. Musoni CEO, Cameron Goldie-Scot anchored the workshop and the atmosphere was electric as the participants shared their experiences and best practice in using the Musoni system. There was a lot of interest from the participants when Cameron shared a case study from Kenya on how MFIs can use the Musoni System to manage their portfolio and reduce their PAR. Furthermore, Cameron presented the Musoni tablet app, demonstrating how MFIs can take advantage of the app to expand their outreach, improve their efficiency and reduce cost.
Closing the series of presentaions, Eric talked about the possibility for MFIs to build new services and delivery channels on top of the Musoni System. The presentation struck a chord with representatives from Inclusive Financial Services who remarked, “The fact that the system can be integrated with any external application is extremely useful and would help us to differentiate ourselves in the market“.
The CEO Workshop was not just talk from Musoni. There were interactive sessions where the participants provided feedback about their desired functionality, thereby contributing to the Musoni development pipeline. The Workshop ended with an award session with Inclusive Financial Services and Virl Microfinance receiving awards for the most effective use of the Musoni System to enhance financial inclusion.